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Murder on Music Row: A Music Industry Thriller

Stuart Dill

John F. Blair, Publisher
$24.95 hardcover
$14.95 paperback
5 ½ x 8 ½  
304 pages
October 2011

Twenty-three-year-old Judd Nix, an unpaid intern at the most prestigious personal management firm in country music, get the opportunity of a lifetime when his boss and mentor, Simon Stills, offers him a temporary position—an opportunity that may just cost Judd his life.

In a landscape where record companies are under siege, stuck in the order of physical CDs and antiquated technologies, Simon's young, electrifying star, Ripley Graham, has emerged as the best-selling digital artist in music history. Meanwhile, Ripley's label, Galaxy Records, is preparing a secret merger agreement that would create the largest record conglomerate in the world. Trouble arises when rumors spread that Ripley and Simon are withholding Ripley's new album in hopes of renegotiating his contract.

When Simon and Judd are shot on the famed Grand Ole Opry stage during the filming of Ripley's new music video, no one is more upset than Ripley—especially as everyone assumes the shots were meant for him. While Simon's life hangs in the balance, Judd seeks help from Megan Olsen, Simon's right hand and Ripley's day-to-day manager. The two set off on a high-powered chase to disclose the real motive behind the shootings and spare Ripley from a second murder attempt.

Murder on Music Row leads readers through a maze of twists and turns that connect Nashville, New York, Los Angeles, and London in a behind-the-scenes look at an industry where there are no limits in the pursuit of money, power, and fame.


“Remember your first John Grisham? Country music veteran Dill (he served as a personal manager for Minnie Pearl, Dwight Yoakam, and other greats) doesn’t miss a beat in this debut high-adrenaline thriller full of twists and turns.” —Library Journal, starred review
Murder on Music Row is the best mystery written to date about how Nashville's music industry really operates.” —Edward Morris, Foreword Reviews
“Dill, who has served as the personal manager for Minnie Pearl, Billy Ray Cyrus, and other notables in the Nashville country music world, brings his insider’s expertise to his solid debut, a mystery thriller...the conclusion is stunning.” —Publishers Weekly
“In this absorbing debut tale of excess and entertainment, the truth of both the music business and the artists themselves screams out from every page — testament not only to Mr. Dill’s quarter of a century as an industry insider but also to his acute observation skills.” —Stevie Godson, New York Journal of Books
“Murder On Music Row reads like the best novel that John Grisham never wrote. The story is downright compelling, making for an easy, page-turning read. The writing is so vivid and cinematic that it likely won’t be long before Murder on Music Row is optioned into a movie. Stuart Dill...leaves you very satisfied with how Murder on Music Row ends.” —Matt Bjorke,
“The writing style is concise and the dialogue feels real…. The book seems tailor made to come alive on the silver screen…it’s a home run. Once you get to turning a few pages you’ll find yourself caught in the intrigue like the draft behind a fully-loaded 18 wheeler barreling down interstate I-65.” —Dave Ross,
“What pleases and surprises is the quality of dialogue from first-time novelist Dill. As the cliché goes, he has a real ear for it…. As in Stephen King's work, the best part of Dill's writing might be his timely pop-culture and regional references. You feel like you know something about both managing a country-music act and also quite a bit about the culture of the Nashville music industry after reading this novel.” —Ross Johnson, Commercial Appeal
“Murder On Music Row isn’t just for country music fans. It is a well-written story that satisfies the requirements of a good whodunit.” —Greg Victor,
“The façades, the egos, the naiveté. Perfect. I loved how the hidden agendas were brought to light — an unfortunate reality on Music Row. The twists and turns kept me hanging on. When I was done reading, I wanted to pick it up and start over again. It was an awesome read.” —Jo Dee Messina, CMA and ACM award-winning multi-platinum recording artist
Murder on Music Row: A Music Industry Thriller has more twists and turns than a spring tornado in Tennessee. This book will have you diving under the covers—with a flashlight, of course. A terrific read.”
—Marshall Chapman, critically acclaimed musician and author
“Well conceived, well paced, and well written, Stuart Dill’s Music City crime novel is a joy to read. Pop country culture now has a dark side.” —Rodney Crowell, Grammy Award winner, member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and acclaimed author of Chinaberry Sidewalks
“Stuart Dill’s novel is the ultimate music insider’s whodunit. He gives us a front-row seat to watch folks driven more by ambition, power, deceit, and greed than by music. I was reluctant to read Murder on Music Row for fear that it might turn out to be a book I had always wanted to write myself. My fears were proven true.” —Robert Hicks, author of The New York Times' bestseller The Widow of the South and A Separate Country